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What's the difference between Mac Jones this year and Joe Burrow last year?


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Similar one year jumps from being a nobody to all-time great single seasons for a college QB.  Both led their teams to the national title in dominating fashion.  Both were surrounded by elite skill position players that will be drafted high in the draft.  

And yet I've not seen 10% of the hype I saw with Joe Burrow last year when it comes to Mac Jones.  Why is that?  Is it because of the Alabama brand?  Did Burrow doing it at LSU which doesn't have Alabama's recent track record give him a boost?  Is it the fact we have more elite QBs in this year's draft than last year?  Thus making a surprise single season jump less noteworthy?

Either way I just find it interesting how little hype Mac Jones is getting despite having essentially replicated Joe Burrow's 2019 run. 

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I agree with that completely.  Then again not sure Mac Jones deserves #1 overall hype, but is absolutely a 1st rounder as a prospect.  Burrow was more athletic and dynamic moving in the pocket and running the football in general and is the one obvious difference.  Also LSU has not been all that successful offensively especially lately so what Burrow did was out of the ordinary.  Mac Jones, well Tua was great just a year ago for Bama when he was in there so it is clearly not as out of the norm as the LSU QB success on such a high level.

The progression of Mac Jones is impressive, and I love how he throws the football.  He is very accurate, throws the ball with a good arch on it and can really drop it in a bucket and really knows how to step up aggressively in the pocket and make big plays.  Love how he throws the deep ball as well, he can hit guys right in stride.

 

There is the fact that possibly that rare season that LSU had is simply not that rare.  Just like Saban said, good defense does not beat good offense anywhere when it used to be able to in college football.  Even the best two teams in the title game, Ohio State and Bama both have very flawed defensive teams, especially Ohio State.  Good players sure but neither one of them could absolutely shut down a good offense.  All these great offenses and generally they are same as well, multiple weapons from every position, pass catching RB, athletic TE and multiple receiver options along with a consistent run game when needed.  Ontop of that multiple OL who are NFL prospects, Bama had that big time this year, LSU to a lesser degree but still they had two players off last years team that were starters in the NFL on the OL even if they were not all high 1st rounders.  

Will be interesting what next year is like but obviously Rattler will rip things up, so will Howell and Slovis not to mention Corral.  All played great this past season and that will continue and possibly be at a higher level next year.  

 

So this type of QB play will not just go away, even Trask had a crazy good year and played on a level similar to Jones if not better in a few games.  Curious thing would be if Burrow was in this draft in 2021, would he be picked over Lawrence or even Fields?  I doubt it, especially with how Fields has looked the past few games, sure there are some issues with him at times but he throws a nice looking ball and the toughness and showed against Clemson was very impressive.  

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11 minutes ago, BrownLeader said:

Mobility.

I agree.  And last year I said this was the only noteworthy physical trait that Joe Burrow had that made him above average as a prospect.  With that said, I don't think decent mobility is enough to bump a QB from late 1st round pick to the consensus #1 overall pick.

Mobility isn't enough to explain the gap in hype between Mac Jones and Joe Burrow. 

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6 minutes ago, Ozzy said:

I agree with that completely.  Then again not sure Mac Jones deserves #1 overall hype, but is absolutely a 1st rounder as a prospect.  Burrow was more athletic and dynamic moving in the pocket and running the football in general and is the one obvious difference.  Also LSU has not been all that successful offensively especially lately so what Burrow did was out of the ordinary.  Mac Jones, well Tua was great just a year ago for Bama when he was in there so it is clearly not as out of the norm as the LSU QB success on such a high level.

The progression of Mac Jones is impressive, and I love how he throws the football.  He is very accurate, throws the ball with a good arch on it and can really drop it in a bucket and really knows how to step up aggressively in the pocket and make big plays.  Love how he throws the deep ball as well, he can hit guys right in stride.

 

There is the fact that possibly that rare season that LSU had is simply not that rare.  Just like Saban said, good defense does not beat good offense anywhere when it used to be able to in college football.  Even the best two teams in the title game, Ohio State and Bama both have very flawed defensive teams, especially Ohio State.  Good players sure but neither one of them could absolutely shut down a good offense.  All these great offenses and generally they are same as well, multiple weapons from every position, pass catching RB, athletic TE and multiple receiver options along with a consistent run game when needed.  Ontop of that multiple OL who are NFL prospects, Bama had that big time this year, LSU to a lesser degree but still they had two players off last years team that were starters in the NFL on the OL even if they were not all high 1st rounders.  

Will be interesting what next year is like but obviously Rattler will rip things up, so will Howell and Slovis not to mention Corral.  All played great this past season and that will continue and possibly be at a higher level next year.  

 

So this type of QB play will not just go away, even Trask had a crazy good year and played on a level similar to Jones if not better in a few games.  Curious thing would be if Burrow was in this draft in 2021, would he be picked over Lawrence or even Fields?  I doubt it, especially with how Fields has looked the past few games, sure there are some issues with him at times but he throws a nice looking ball and the toughness and showed against Clemson was very impressive.  

I personally don't find Mac Jones to be a starter in the NFL.  If he goes in the 1st round I suspect he will be a bust.  So this thread isn't really calling for him to go #1 overall.  I just find the difference in hype between him and Burrow to be interesting since they had essentially the same season.  Burrow's claim to fame last year was not elite physical tools but rather his all-time great single season.  Now that Mac Jones has essentially replicated that all-time great season, you would think he gets similar hype.  But it has been nothing of the sort.

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Just now, VanS said:

I agree.  And last year I said this was the only noteworthy physical trait that Joe Burrow had that made him above average as a prospect.  With that said, I don't think decent mobility is enough to bump a QB from late 1st round pick to the consensus #1 overall pick.

Mobility isn't enough to explain the gap in hype between Mac Jones and Joe Burrow. 

DeVonta Smith won the Heisman Trophy, and not Mac Jones for a reason.  The leadership and competitive drive Smith had was a massive key to that team, and that drive did not come from Mac Jones.  Burrow was far more of a motivational and intense leader, Mac Jones is confident but not sure he had the swagger and leadership Burrow had as a QB.  

 

Just now, VanS said:

I personally don't find Mac Jones to be a starter in the NFL.  If he goes in the 1st round I suspect he will be a bust.  So this thread isn't really calling for him to go #1 overall.  I just find the difference in hype between him and Burrow to be interesting since they had essentially the same season.  Burrow's claim to fame last year was not elite physical tools but rather his all-time great single season.  Now that Mac Jones has essentially replicated that all-time great season, you would think he gets similar hype.  But it has been nothing of the sort.

Burrow also had what 20 more TDs than Mac Jones so their production was not that similar, and almost 1000 yards more but Jones played two less games than Burrow.  Mac Jones not a starter?  Ok sure, that is BS all the way around.  If Mac Jones was so awful, why did they still score points once Smith got hurt for the game and Waddle was limping around out there?  If he is so terrible how were they still successful offensively, mind you Jones was hurt as well during that 2nd half also.  The kid can play and could have a very solid pro career and will be a 1st round pick.

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2 hours ago, Ozzy said:

Mac Jones not a starter?  Ok sure, that is BS all the way around.  If Mac Jones was so awful, why did they still score points once Smith got hurt for the game and Waddle was limping around out there? 

You must not know how I evaluate players.  I could care less about the success they have in college.  I evaluate them purely on their traits.  Nothing I've seen from Mac Jones says he's anything more than a backup.  As much as I was not emamored with Joe Burrow last year, he at least flashed some traits that couldn't be taught in terms of mobility.  To me Mac Jones looks like a pure system QB.  He had success because Alabama is stacked.  Take 1 5-star out and they replace him with another.  So your point about Smith and Waddle doesn't really make that big a difference.  This is Alabama afterall.

As always I am open to being wrong but Mac Jones looks like most surefire bust I've seen of a QB projected to go in the 1st round since Dwayne Haskins (who I was similarly down on). 

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28 minutes ago, VanS said:

You must not know how I evaluate players.  I could care less about the success they have in college.  I evaluate them purely on their traits.  Nothing I've seen from Mac Jones says he's anything more than a backup.  As much as I was not emamored with Joe Burrow last year, he at least flashed some traits that couldn't be taught in terms of mobility.  To me Mac Jones looks like a pure system QB.  He had success because Alabama is stacked.  Take 1 5-star out and they replace him with another.  So your point about Smith and Waddle doesn't really make that big a difference.  This is Alabama afterall.

As always I am open to being wrong but Mac Jones looks like most surefire bust I've seen of a QB projected to go in the 1st round since Dwayne Haskins (who I was similarly down on). 

I am fully aware you overrate Quarterbacks because you over emphasize athletic ability as if that is all that matters.  It matters more now a days than before granted but Mac Jones is not some statue in the pocket who cannot move and cannot run, he ran more than once in the title game when needed and was effective moving the chains.

Slade Bolden is a five star recruit?  Since when? Metchie was a four star I believe, good player but is nothing compared to Smith and Waddle.  Without Smith and with a limping Waddle they were more than hampered offensively yet Mac did just fine, and he was injured himself.  Sure they had a big lead but with poor play they could have easily blown the lead.

 

Dislike Mac Jones, I do not really care, fact is he will be a 1st round pick regardless because one he deserves it and two, a lot of teams really need a QB.  

 

So DJ Uiagalelei is some crap QB prospect because he cannot run a 4.4 40?  Yeah right.  Mobility again is increasingly important in terms of NFL quarterbacks, but as long as you can handle getting pressured and avoid pressure in the pocket with good fundamentals it is fine if the guy is not a blur in the open field running.  

 

Out of the top 12 passers in the NFL in terms of passing yards this season, 6 are not wildly mobile or athletic.  Sure Herbert is and Josh Allen absolutely is, same with Watson and Mahomes but others are successful despite not being this all world athlete.  

 

Deshaun Watson
Patrick Mahomes
Tom Brady
Matt Ryan
Josh Allen
Justin Herbert
Aaron Rodgers
Kirk Cousins
Russell Wilson
Philip Rivers
Derek Carr
Matthew Stafford

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4 hours ago, Ozzy said:

So DJ Uiagalelei is some crap QB prospect because he cannot run a 4.4 40? 

Actually I really like DJ.  Think he could potentially be a better pro than Lawrence.

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8 hours ago, VanS said:

Similar one year jumps from being a nobody to all-time great single seasons for a college QB.  Both led their teams to the national title in dominating fashion.  Both were surrounded by elite skill position players that will be drafted high in the draft.  

And yet I've not seen 10% of the hype I saw with Joe Burrow last year when it comes to Mac Jones.  Why is that?  Is it because of the Alabama brand?  Did Burrow doing it at LSU which doesn't have Alabama's recent track record give him a boost?  Is it the fact we have more elite QBs in this year's draft than last year?  Thus making a surprise single season jump less noteworthy?

Either way I just find it interesting how little hype Mac Jones is getting despite having essentially replicated Joe Burrow's 2019 run. 

I mean, everything you want to praise Mac Jones for Burrow did better.  In terms of physical tools, Burrow is a more impressive athlete 6'3.5", 221 where as Mac Jones probably comes in a bit behind Burrow.  In terms of arm strength, Burrow has the better arm strength, although I'm not sure Mac Jones will have any issues making the throws.  In terms of receivers, I think they're relatively comparable although I think this wouldn't necessarily be the same opinion shared if Justin Jefferson didn't have a monster rookie year.

But ultimately, I think it was the sheer production that Burrow had last year.  If you plug another former top QB prospect at QB, does LSU have the same season they had last year?  Probably not.  What about with Alabama?  I'd venture a guess that they would.  Alabama is consistently a top program no matter who is their starting QB, whether it be Mac Jones, Tua Tagovailola, etc.  In terms of production, Burrow averaged a TD every 8.8 passes and an interception every 88.8 passes attempted.  While impressive, Mac Jones came in averaging a TD every 9.8 passes and an interception every 100.5 passes.  Burrow was LSU's offense.  Can you comfortably say that Mac Jones was?  Because I can't.

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5 hours ago, Ozzy said:

Dislike Mac Jones, I do not really care, fact is he will be a 1st round pick regardless because one he deserves it and two, a lot of teams really need a QB. 

Being one, and worthy of being one are two very different arguments.

5 hours ago, Ozzy said:

Out of the top 12 passers in the NFL in terms of passing yards this season, 6 are not wildly mobile or athletic.  Sure Herbert is and Josh Allen absolutely is, same with Watson and Mahomes but others are successful despite not being this all world athlete.  

You don't have to be wildly athletic.  But there's clearly a value in mobility.  You don't have to be Michael Vick or Lamar Jackson to be successful, but you need to be able to extend plays when the pocket breaks down.  Do you trust Mac Jones to do that when he's not playing behind Alabama's OL?

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IMO, Burrow also had a LOT of intangibles. He was able to/asked to do more in reading defenses (presnap reads), had major poise/a huddle presence, has a generally calmer demeanor, and is a lot more mature. This certainly isn't the end all/be all, but Jones was nicknamed "John McEnroe" for a reason. He's going to walk that fine line between "fiery" and "angry/out of control", and how he handles those failures will be telling, because just about every young Quarterback has some bumps along the way.

IMO, he's very difficult to grade because of the weapons that he has at his disposal behind the OL that he has. He has a tremendous running game (so did Burrow), one of the best OL's that I've ever seen to the point of where he's never had to face pressure of any kind and has forever to go through his progressions, and he throws to receivers who are going to go early D1, so his ball placement rarely has to be perfect.

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